Niklas Wagner

Working title: Institutional Performance of Science Policy Interfaces in the One Health Context
Research countries: Brazil, Ghana, Germany, India
Research themes: governance, science-policy interface


Niklas holds a bachelor’s in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research Mumbai and a master of philosophy in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge. He wrote his master’s thesis about the synergies and conflicts between food security and the forest-protection programme of the United Nations REDD+ in Brazil and interned on the latter with both German development organisations, the KfW and the GIZ. Next to his education and work, Niklas is actively engaged in the climate movement. He is passionate about political and philosophical questions surrounding sustainable development as can be seen in his research abstract below.


Science Policy Interfaces (SPIs) are organisations, initiatives, or projects collaboratively linking science and policy. Operating at the boundary between science and policy, SPIs could be crucial for conferring legitimacy to policymaking through democratically good procedures and epistemically good outcomes, however, the legitimacy of SPIs has not been researched yet.

For filling this gap, this dissertation creates a normative conceptual framework for empirically evaluating the legitimacy of SPIs. Based upon this conceptual framework, the empirical analysis of SPIs relevant to urban transformation and their impact on policymaking in four metropolitan areas in Brazil, Ghana, Germany and India is proposed. The outcomes of this dissertation will be useful for informing the institutional design of science policy interfaces considering both their democratic as well as their epistemic legitimacy.

This dissertation is embedded in the Faculty of Political Science and aligned with the research of Sara Velander from the LANUSYNCON project at ZEF.

Further links:

Blog Post about my research and experience at the World Climate Conference COP 26

Video about my research at the IPBES Stakeholder Days

LinkedIn Profile


Prof. Thomas Dietz (Universität Münster)


Phone: +49 228 / 73 - 6726

Email: wagner(at)

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